Help! Brooder plans

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Shorty1071, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. Shorty1071

    Shorty1071 Just Hatched

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    Okay, I've been reading and planning and drawing and reading some more, and I think I've come up with a plan for brooding my chicks.
    I've got 15 chicks coming first week of March (6 are silkies, rest are LF). I have another 15 coming first week of April. Would have had them come at the same time, but I had to get the first batch early in order to get the silkies I wanted.

    I am thinking of building a brooder large enough for 20 chicks. The first batch of chicks would spend their first month there-after that, the LF chicks would go out to the coop, but I would keep the silkies in the brooder for a couple more weeks. When the second batch arrives, I'm thinking I will put them right into the brooder with the silkies, but keep the silkies separate from the new chicks with chicken wire (or some other partition).
    Thoughts? Better ideas? Things I'm not thinking about/don't know?
    Thanks!
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Will the brooder be indoors or outdoors?

    When the LF chicks go in the coop, will they be the only ones in there? Will they have access to heat if they need it?

    Some of this is more important if you are in Maine v Texas. What are your temps like?
     
  3. Shorty1071

    Shorty1071 Just Hatched

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    Brooder will be in the house. The LF chicks would be the only ones in the coop at a month old, and we can definitely put a heat lamp in there if needed.
    I live in Wisconsin, and this winter has been all over the place- It's hard to say what the temps will be at that point!
     
  4. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Okay then next question is, how big is the coop? At four weeks old, they won't be fully feathered, especially after being in a warm house. I don't recommend heat lamps at all, ever, but you will need to figure out a way to keep them warm. Even thought it will be April I'm sure it will still be a bit chilly at night. So, if the coop is large that might mean partitioning off a smaller part of the coop. I use heating pads for warming my chicks, but if you don't have electricity out there there is a way to make a self heating box that they can sleep in or go in to warm up. I will try to find the info on it (I'm wanting to make one myself).

    I'm glad you are working on figuring all of this out ahead of time!
     
  5. Shorty1071

    Shorty1071 Just Hatched

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    The coop will be large.. well over a hundred square feet, so we will definitely have to make a smaller section for the babies. Never heard of using heating pads, that sounds like an easy option. Or the self heating box, will have to look into that. We will have electricity out there. Thanks for your help! Yes, trying to figure this out way ahead of time so we aren't scrambling in a month.. lol. It's going to come so fast, and then we have baby goats coming home not too long after the second batch of chicks!
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    If the Silkie are brooded with LF then they should go to the coop at the same time. I'd not separate chicks in case they require integration when reintroduced. There is nothing like hatch mates and what they tolerate together.

    I'm in Northern Vermont and put chicks outside at 4 weeks age in April. No worries. We ween from heat when indoors prior to going outside. Turn heat off for few hours a day and lengthen the time or do it several times a day then no heat at all for a good 3 or 4 days before outside in spring weather, 50's highs and still frost nights.
     
  7. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    That is good to know. I typically raise mine outdoors from three days old so I was not sure how they would deal with the "shock" of being moved outdoors at that age and with Wisconsin temps.

    Op- I just bumped up the wool hen thread. Take a look at that.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Shorty, I'd bypass the "in house brooder" all together, and brood all of your chicks in the coop with a Mother Heating pad cave brooder. (you might want to block off a corner to start, so you can keep them near the heat and food sources) Then, when the new chicks come, the older birds should no longer need the MHP. If they need anything at all, you can give them a wool hen. You can then put the new babies under MHP, with a bit of a wire divider to keep the older birds out for a week or two, and then open up the divider and let them all mingle. Check out Azygous panic room set up, this might work, or you may not even need it. By the time the babies are 2 weeks old they should be fine in the coop with the older birds.
     
  9. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    ^ Best suggestion yet. I don't know why I didn't just say bypass the indoor brooding, since I don't indoor brood myself!
     
  10. Shorty1071

    Shorty1071 Just Hatched

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    Okay, I will consider brooding them all in the regular coop from the beginning, but there is one major downside for me. I was counting on having chicks in the house helping my dogs get used to them from the beginning. I suppose I can always take the dogs out to the coop a couple times a day, but obviously it would be easier if the dogs were exposed to seeing and hearing noisy chicks 24/7, from day one!
     

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